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Prague, a bohemian city filled with 1.2 million people, is a popular destination for expats and students alike. Built on the hillsides surrounding the quiet, swan-filled Vltava River, Prague is notorious for it’s magical medieval architecture and internationally famous beer culture. In Prague, apartments for long-term rent are plentiful and readily available all year round. Considering it is the capital of the Czech Republic and one of the largest cities in Central Europe, apartments for rent in Prague are extremely affordable. You can find furnished apartments for rent as well, as long as you are willing to pay a bit extra. High season is usually in the summer, from April to June, and the city is also a popular destination during the Christmas and New Year holidays. It’s better to search for housing when rates are likely not as competitive.
If you’re moving to Prague, expect to immerse yourself in a city stepped with a rich cultural history and some of the best local microbrews in the world. Meander along the cobblestone streets and discover the gardens and cafes amidst the stunning architecture from every era -- gothic, baroque, cubism, and art nouveau. Here, in the city of spires, there is a thriving contemporary art scene.
No matter what neighborhood you live in, you’ll have access to everything you need. Smaller shops are closed Sundays and early on Saturdays, but supermarkets stay open all weekend. Those moving to Prague can also expect excellent, affordable healthcare and free access to public education -- as long as you’re willing to learn in Czech! Non-EU citizens are eligible to enroll in free integration courses.
Apartments in Mala Strana, Prague are located in a very historic part of the city. The neighborhood -- which translates literally to “Little Side” or “Lesser Town” -- is located on the west bank of the Vltava River. It sits across the Charles Bridge away from the Old Town and below the Hradčany district. The Hradčany district, or the “castle district,” is home to the Prague Castle, one of the biggest castles the world. The neighborhood is famous for its’ Baroque architecture and fairytale-like atmosphere.
In the Middle Ages, this neighborhood underneath the castle was filled with German craftsmen and merchants. After fires destroyed the area in the mid-16th century, the area was rebuilt Renaissance style and populated by many Italian residents. Here, they built many illustrious palaces for Czech nobles, the largest and grandest being the Valdštejnský Palace, which now houses the Czech Senate. Here the gardens are open to the public in the summer, another highlight of living in the neighborhood. The restaurants in Mala Strana, Prague are some of the best, most authentic in the city. There is a beautiful park to the north of the district, Letná, from which you have a stunning view across the river. It’s also famous for what’s said to be the greatest Baroque church in Prague, St Nicholas Church.
The Vinohrady neighborhood in Prague, historically a symbolic of bourgeois glamour and good living, is one of the most popular for expats, foreign residents, and students alike. It is one of the most affluent districts in Prague. It sits atop a hill slightly on the outskirts and did not officially become apart of the city until 1922. Náměstí Míru, the public square and focal point of the district, is also the location of one of the core transportation hubs in Prague, allowing for quick and easy access to the rest of the city. The popular, more Bohemian Zizkov district and the up-and-coming Vrsovice district are both within walking distance, to the north and the south, respectively.Apartments in Vinohrady, Prague are some of the most expensive. The neighborhood is filled with gorgeous, lush green parks and Art Deco architecture, including the Vinohrady Theatre. Built in 1907, it is the oldest and most prestigious theatre in the city and stands as a testament to the neighborhood’s affluence at the beginning of the 20th century.
Vinohrady, which translates literally to “Vineyards,” was the site outside the city center where the wine grapes grew in the 14th century. Some of the vineyards are still here in the Riegrovy sady, the second largest park in Prague. There’s a wonderful view overlooking the city center and In the city during the summertime, it is one of the most popular.
The world’s largest Sokol gym is in Vinohrady, Prague, at the southern end of the Riegrovy sady. The park also hosts the biggest beer garden in the city with a capacity for 1,400 people, and a restaurant-wine cellar where you can sample regional, vintage wine.
There is an infamous farmer’s market in the neighborhood every Wednesday through Saturday at Jiřího z Poděbrad Square. During Christmas time, there is a wonderful market at Náměstí Míru, overlooked by the twin spires of the Neo-Gothic St Ludmila’s Church.
Josefov, the smallest district in Prague, is a small enclave surrounded by the Old Town on the right bank of the Vltava River. There are a many historical landmarks and museums in Josefov, Prague, including the Jewish Museum, the Old Jewish Cemetery, the Jewish synagogues, and the birthplace of Franz Kafka. Formerly the severely cramped, Jewish ghetto, the history of Josefov, Prague is one of the richest and brutalist in the city. Parts of the Old Town surrounding Josefov date as far back as the 9th century and the Old Town Square was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Many major tourist sites are in this area, including the infamous Old Town Hall and the clock. Those looking for apartments near Josefov, Prague can expect an intense historical immersion, but also a pretty busy neighborhood, often attracting a lot of tourists.
The city is also an extremely popular destination for students as student housing in Prague is extremely affordable and there are plenty of options. The cost of living is also affordable, considering you can buy a beer for under $1 U.S. dollar and in the winter, spend as little as $15 U.S. dollars on a daily ski lift ticket and equipment rental. As a student in Prague, the ISIC (International Student Identity Card) will get you discounts on historical monuments, nightlife activities, travel, transportation, dining, and more.
There are also nearly 70 public and private higher education institutions in the city, the largest being Charles University, the public university founded by Emperor Charles IV in 1348. This makes it the oldest academic institution in Central Europe. Public and state education in Prague is free of charge for citizens of all nationalities. Private institutions fix their own fees.
If you’re looking for a student residence in Prague, it’s possible to find a flatshare in a student dormitory or housing accommodation for as low as 120 EUR per month. The majority of the higher education institutions own their own dormitories, also called “koleje.” Fees usually include bedding, utilities, access to a kitchen or kitchenette and bathroom facilities. One-bedrooms in student residences are hard to come by, so expect to share a room with a roommate.
Also, those who want to rent privately can easily find student apartments in Prague. Flatshares in a private apartment cost around 250-400 EUR per month, depending on the size of the room and the location. 2-3 bedroom flats cost around 500-800 EUR per month. If you rent privately, be prepared to pay a deposit.
Public transport in Prague is extremely efficient, reliable, and affordable. There are trams, trolleys, and three underground metro lines. For residents, it’s most cost effective to buy a monthly ticket, but you can also buy a three day pass, a 24-hour pass, or 120, 90, or 30 minute passes. The system is integrated, so tickets are valid on all types of public transportation, but be sure to validate it before you board. There are periodic ticket controllers who check passengers. The transport system in Prague operates from 5:00 AM in the morning to around 12:00 PM midnight. That being said, most of central Prague is easily manageable by foot. All streets are cobblestone, so leave your high heels or uncomfortable shoes at home.
In Prague, taxis have a generally bad reputation for being manipulative. Fares will vary and drivers may overcharge. Be sure to ask a driver beforehand what the fare of a trip will cost and/or call a trusted taxi service. Drivers are legally required to post fare information inside and outside of the vehicle.
Prague’s international airport, Prague Ruzyně International Airport or PGR, has daily direct flights to most major European cities, most of which are also extremely accessible by bus or train.